JOHANNESBURG - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday called ongoing nationwide rolling blackouts as power company Eskom grapples with equipment breakdowns a national calamity, demanding swift action and calling all talents to come to the rescue of the beleaguered utility.
Eskom was forced to apologise this week after abruptly implementing Stage 6 load shedding on Monday -- which entails throttling up to 6,000 MW of demand at any given time -- an unprecedented move it said was necessary to avoid a collapse of the grid after a high rate of generating unit breakdowns. On Wednesday Eskom downscaled the level of rotational powercuts to Stage 2, or 2,000 MW, saying capacity remained constrained.
Eskom supplies about 95 percent of South Africa's electricity needs, most of it coal fired.
President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry Geoff Jacobs said South Africa was blessed with the skills needed to fix the state-owned company's problems.
"Politicians and trade unionists need to get out of the way and allow those who can, to clean up the shambles," he said.